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Flawless books?

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    HozHoz Cool Cat Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I remember when my class was reading it in high school and this nerdy guy (wide eyed idealistic type, nice fellow) just went off on a rant thrashing it in the middle of a class discussion, much like you just did. It's a book that always made me wonder what separates those who love it and those who hate it.

    Hoz on
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    ClevingerClevinger Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Fallingman wrote: »
    3lwap0 wrote: »
    Salinger's Catcher in the Rye always resonated with me for whatever reason. I realize in it's own right it's a teenage angst novel - but it still seems to transcend that genre into the classics range.

    Worst. Book. Ever.

    Even having the book on my shelf... I get some kind of base emotive Pavlovian response... I have to surround it with other books I dont like, lest the taint spread.

    [/rant]

    Why don't you, I don't know, give it away?

    Clevinger on
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    GripperGripper Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    There is a quote by some guy that says in great novels, the genius is stamped into every line. With that in mind, I'm going for

    Martin Amis - Money

    This book is as close to flawless for me as is possible. Every single sentence is breathtaking

    Oscar Wilde - The Picture of Dorian Gray

    Same deal.

    Charles Bukowski - Post Office

    This is much less complex than most novels you will read. Ridiculously so, in fact. But again, eveyr last line is perfect to me. Not a word is wasted.

    Gripper on
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    ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    MrMister wrote: »
    Big Dookie wrote: »
    kaz67 wrote: »
    I consider The Death of Ivan Ilych to be the perfect short story.
    So true. I hated it the first time I read it, but over time I've come to appreciate it for the masterpiece it really is.

    My hatred of that story has only deepened on subsequent readings. If I wanted a sermon, I'd go to church.

    It isn't a story you can really enjoy. But regardless of whether you agree on the sermon aspect I find the slow personalized description of his illness and death intensely valuable. Because we are all going to undergo that. I think there is value in facing up to our future.

    Shinto on
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    ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    Podly wrote: »
    The correct answer to this thread is Dante's commedia in its original Tuscan.

    God I despise your pretension.

    Also, A Moveable Feast and The Old Man and the Sea by Hemmingway

    Shinto on
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    HozHoz Cool Cat Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    The correct answer to this thread is Dante's commedia in its original Tuscan.
    God I despise your pretension.
    Give him a break, Shinto. That's all he has.

    Hoz on
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    FallingmanFallingman Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Clevinger wrote: »
    Fallingman wrote: »
    3lwap0 wrote: »
    Salinger's Catcher in the Rye always resonated with me for whatever reason. I realize in it's own right it's a teenage angst novel - but it still seems to transcend that genre into the classics range.

    Worst. Book. Ever.

    Even having the book on my shelf... I get some kind of base emotive Pavlovian response... I have to surround it with other books I dont like, lest the taint spread.

    [/rant]

    Why don't you, I don't know, give it away?

    I cant think of anyone I dislike enough...

    Fallingman on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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    RaggaholicRaggaholic Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Fallingman wrote: »
    3lwap0 wrote: »
    Salinger's Catcher in the Rye always resonated with me for whatever reason. I realize in it's own right it's a teenage angst novel - but it still seems to transcend that genre into the classics range.

    Worst. Book. Ever.

    I recently went through a few "classics". Catch 22, 1984, Catcher in the Rye... Most were deserving...The latter is the only book that made me physically angry...
    Yes, yes and yes.

    I'm doing the exact same thing that you are (going back and reading the "classics") and I was excited when I got to Catcher in the Rye. I heard so much good about it, and was wondering what was so controversial that made it end up on a banned books list. The book was so bad that halfway through I wanted to just call it even and move on to Lord of the Flies.

    I have a theory on Catcher in the Rye. Anyone who has not read that book by the time they have graduated high school will hate it. Every informal poll I've done of people who say they hate it/love it all have that distinction.

    I want to toss in Of Mice and Men as the only book to ever bring me to tears, but what more can be said about it. I'd also love to toss in American Gods, but I'm sure you all would rip that to shreds.

    Raggaholic on
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    evilbobevilbob RADELAIDERegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    100 years of solitude

    evilbob on
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    FallingmanFallingman Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Raggaholic wrote: »
    Fallingman wrote: »
    3lwap0 wrote: »
    Salinger's Catcher in the Rye always resonated with me for whatever reason. I realize in it's own right it's a teenage angst novel - but it still seems to transcend that genre into the classics range.

    Worst. Book. Ever.

    I recently went through a few "classics". Catch 22, 1984, Catcher in the Rye... Most were deserving...The latter is the only book that made me physically angry...
    Yes, yes and yes.

    I'm doing the exact same thing that you are (going back and reading the "classics") and I was excited when I got to Catcher in the Rye. I heard so much good about it, and was wondering what was so controversial that made it end up on a banned books list. The book was so bad that halfway through I wanted to just call it even and move on to Lord of the Flies.

    I have a theory on Catcher in the Rye. Anyone who has not read that book by the time they have graduated high school will hate it. Every informal poll I've done of people who say they hate it/love it all have that distinction.

    I want to toss in Of Mice and Men as the only book to ever bring me to tears, but what more can be said about it. I'd also love to toss in American Gods, but I'm sure you all would rip that to shreds.

    This could be true - I seem to have a particular aversion to teen angst in either books or TV. Do yourself a favour - if you're half way and hate it - it doesn't get any better. Except for the cyborg ninja invasion... Man, I didnt see that one coming.

    Kidding - there are no cyborg ninjas. THERE ARE NO CYBORG NINJAS!

    Fallingman on
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    Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    A Small Good Thing by Raymond Carver. A perfect short story.

    The Little Friend by Donna Tartt comes pretty close to being a flawless novel in my opinion.

    Bliss 101 on
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    FallingmanFallingman Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Anyone else waiting for someone to say "The DaVinci Code"?:winky:

    Fallingman on
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    bsjezzbsjezz Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    evilbob wrote: »
    100 years of solitude

    Indeed. I think Marquez is a bit too experimental and exploratory to ever write something that's 'perfect', but One Hundred Years is a damn fine book. Really up there with the best of 'em.

    edit: actually maybe not experimental. perhaps it's just that his every page, every paragraph, every sentence is so loaded with narrative that mistakes are bound to crop up. Or myabe he is perfect!

    bsjezz on
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    RaggaholicRaggaholic Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Fallingman wrote: »
    This could be true - I seem to have a particular aversion to teen angst in either books or TV. Do yourself a favour - if you're half way and hate it - it doesn't get any better. Except for the cyborg ninja invasion... Man, I didnt see that one coming.

    Kidding - there are no cyborg ninjas. THERE ARE NO CYBORG NINJAS!
    No, I finished it. I wasn't happy with it and was glad that it was over, but I finished it.

    Raggaholic on
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    NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    ege02 wrote: »
    3lwap0 wrote: »
    R.A. Salvatore - The Leged of Drizzit compliation.

    Dark Elf Trilogy, and Icewind Dale Trilogy, to be exact.

    The rest are meh.

    O_o

    I sort of understand, as I was a Salvatore whore as a teenager, but, looking back, the vast majority of his books are mostly the same story rewritten over and over again, even his non-Forgotten Realms work. And then there was the abortion that was Spine of the World :shudder:. With such riviting descriptions as (and I'm paraphrasing) "She ate my seed!" and Salvatore's newfound favorite word "fie," I just about had an aneurysm reading through it. I haven't been a fan since.

    I don't think I've ever encountered a flawless book. I tend to have an aversion to the so-called classics because most just bore me to tears (I'm looking at you, Great Expectations and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn). I never 'got' William Faulkner, although that's probably because I was forced to read his work in high school.

    Instead, there are bits and pieces of books I find to be flawless. I loved the beginning half of Frankenstein where our good doctor is obsessed with proving those who were his scientific heroes wrong about human reanimation. I loved most of Brave New World, although the Ford religion parts were a bit overdone for my tastes. I loved the second half of Wizard War, but the first half was pretty boring. I loved the Wheel of Time series until the 7th or 8th book, when it was evident that Robert Jordan had no fucking clue about how to write himself out of his own mess and 800+ pages of nothing happening became the norm.

    And yes, Macbeth > Hamlet. By a lot. Hamlet always seemed a bit self-absorbed to me.

    Fake EDIT:
    I just remembered a flawless book. Horton Hears a Mother Fuckin' Who.

    Nightslyr on
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    ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    I'd like to second the nomination of Dubliners as the perfect short story.

    Shinto on
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    FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Fallingman wrote: »
    Anyone else waiting for someone to say "The DaVinci Code"?:winky:

    I was waiting for someone to Say Potter, so I could bitchslap them literatily.

    On that note, Mallory is pretty damn good.


    On the note of being whores for authors, I was an Eddings whore.

    Fencingsax on
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    bsjezzbsjezz Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    I'd like to second the nomination of Dubliners as the perfect short story.

    Do you mean The Dead? It's clearly the best one of the bunch.

    I love The Dead but for me the perfect short story is So Much Water, So Close to Home by Carver.

    bsjezz on
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    poshnialloposhniallo Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino makes me feel embarassed for ever considering I could be a writer.

    poshniallo on
    I figure I could take a bear.
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    nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    poshniallo wrote: »
    Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino makes me feel embarassed for ever considering I could be a writer.

    I liekd Cosmomticcs or whatever better

    Calvino was a fucking genius though

    nexuscrawler on
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    3lwap03lwap0 Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    One i'll defend to the death -

    The Devil's Dictionary - Ambrose Bierce

    3lwap0 on
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    Andrew_JayAndrew_Jay Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    "Flawless" is a pretty difficult hurdle. I could nominate plenty of great books - but it's hard to say with some confidence that a book was perfect, beginning to end. Especially since you can (typically) only read a book so many times.

    So I got nothing right now.

    Andrew_Jay on
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    JansonJanson Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Andrew_Jay wrote: »
    "Flawless" is a pretty difficult hurdle. I could nominate plenty of great books - but it's hard to say with some confidence that a book was perfect, beginning to end. Especially since you can (typically) only read a book so many times.

    So I got nothing right now.

    Yes. And to some extent, the same books pop up time and time again. The books mentioned in this thread have been mentioned in a hundred other 'good novel' threads.

    Janson on
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    FallingmanFallingman Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    No. There are indeed flawless books.

    The Tiger Who Came To Tea It had everything.

    Fallingman on
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    BErdaBErda Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    I'd have to say that Breakfast of Champions by Vonnegut was one I thought was damn near perfect. off the top of my head, I also loved "A River Runs Through It".

    BErda on
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    ElendilElendil Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Oedipus Rex is the single finest thing I have ever read.

    Elendil on
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    monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    3lwap0 wrote: »
    One i'll defend to the death -

    The Devil's Dictionary - Ambrose Bierce

    :lol:
    Yeah, that book it pretty much perfect.

    moniker on
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    3lwap03lwap0 Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    moniker wrote: »
    3lwap0 wrote: »
    One i'll defend to the death -

    The Devil's Dictionary - Ambrose Bierce

    :lol:
    Yeah, that book it pretty much perfect.

    Not so much a book per say, but it never gets old for me.

    3lwap0 on
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    ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited May 2007
    Elendil wrote: »
    Oedipus Rex is the single finest thing I have ever read.

    The character of Oedipus' shepherd father was two dimensional.

    Shinto on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Not actually a mod. Roaming the streets, waving his gun around.Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited May 2007
    Podly wrote: »
    The correct answer to this thread is Dante's commedia in its original Tuscan.

    The Inferno, at least, was a clever idea saddled by Dante's insistence on badmouthing everyone he didn't like. I kept imagining some highschooler hunched over his chair thinking, "You taped a Kick-Me sign to my back! I'm totally going to get even with you, through the power of literature!"

    Good book, but hardly flawless. I'll go with "extremely impressive, given the time period."

    Me, I find myself liking Stephen King's The Long Walk more every time I read it. He generally fucks up a book during the climax, or writes himself into a corner, but this one is just awesome in its simple brutality.

    ElJeffe on
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    Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited May 2007
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Podly wrote: »
    The correct answer to this thread is Dante's commedia in its original Tuscan.

    The Inferno, at least, was a clever idea saddled by Dante's insistence on badmouthing everyone he didn't like. I kept imagining some highschooler hunched over his chair thinking, "You taped a Kick-Me sign to my back! I'm totally going to get even with you, through the power of literature!"

    Good book, but hardly flawless. I'll go with "extremely impressive, given the time period."
    But you didn't read it in the original Tuscan, Jeff. All these things resolve themselves if only you could experience it in its full linguistic glory!

    Irond Will on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Not actually a mod. Roaming the streets, waving his gun around.Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited May 2007
    Fuck Tuscan. All truly good works are written in American.

    ElJeffe on
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    liquidloganliquidlogan Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Also, Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. Man, drama doesn't get enough love. While I'm at it, I did enjoy reading The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde which is hilarious, though not without major flaws.

    liquidlogan on
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    SithDrummerSithDrummer Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Alexandre Dumas - The Count of Monte Cristo

    SithDrummer on
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    HozHoz Cool Cat Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    All truly good works are written in American.
    Language of the free.

    Hoz on
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    JeffHJeffH Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Hoz wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    All truly good works are written in American.
    Language of the free.
    May the wings of Liberty never lose a feather.

    JeffH on
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    CarnivoreCarnivore Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    The Fifth Elephant.

    Best Discworld.

    Just a classic. So good.

    Carnivore on
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    Alchemist449Alchemist449 Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    ...Seeing that everyone took the thread literally, how bout it becomes books that everyone should read?

    I mean....c'mon. Regardless of Dickens obsession, bordering on becoming a fetish, with food everyone should read at least one of his books to decide for themselves. The ending of A Tale of Two Cities was fucking epic.

    Alchemist449 on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Not actually a mod. Roaming the streets, waving his gun around.Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited May 2007
    The prose in A Tale of Two Cities was beautiful. Probably the finest I've read. It was also unforgiveably opaque, and I never made it past the first 20 pages. I would read a page, and think, "My, but this is pretty," and then realize I had no idea what had just happened.

    ElJeffe on
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    Salvation122Salvation122 Registered User regular
    edited May 2007
    Fahrenheit 451 and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

    Salvation122 on
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